FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
MEASURE E ~ 2012 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Why consider a Bond extension now?
A: Many of El Camino College’s classrooms are more than 50 years old; some facilities nearly 65 years old. While these facilities have been carefully maintained, they need replacement and renovations. Math and computer labs, lecture halls, and vocational training facilities need repair and upgrades.
Problems include: outdated fire safety and emergency lighting systems; aging electrical systems and wiring that don’t accommodate computer technology and Internet access; outdated laboratories; hazardous materials like asbestos; and classrooms with inefficient heating and ventilation systems.
Planned upgrades will feature “green technology” and will utilize energy- and cost-saving technologies.
Measure E would continue the progress of the college’s very first facilities bond, approved by voters in 2002.
Q: What are the needs?
A: Our most urgent needs include:
- Fire safety upgrades and alarm systems.
- High-tech labs for science, math and vocational training.
- Up-to-date instructional equipment.
- Improved lighting for safety and energy efficiency.
- Improved wiring for electrical service and Internet access.
- Health and safety repairs to leaky roofs and decaying walls.
- Removal of asbestos and hazardous materials.
Q: Are these ongoing maintenance issues?
A: NO. Over the years, college leaders have worked diligently to properly maintain school buildings, with the resources available. However, many facilities have reached the end of their useful life and need repair or replacement. Renovations to these aging buildings are simply too extensive to address through ongoing maintenance.
Q: Isn’t any other type of funding available?
A: NO. Community colleges have historically been underfunded in the State of California. All community colleges, including El Camino College, recently suffered severe cutbacks in the state budget. Further cuts are anticipated for community colleges’ in the future state budget as well. California still ranks in the lowest tier of states in public education funding. With the community’s help, fundraising has helped educational programs, but facility needs are too expensive to address through volunteer fundraising efforts alone.
Q: If Measure E passes, how do we know funds will be spent properly?
A: By law, money from any proposed bond can only be spent on buildings, classrooms, or instructional equipment.
Once a bond is successfully passed, an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee must monitor all funds to ensure they are spent properly. An existing El Camino College Citizens’ Oversight Committee has been in place since the Facilities Bond was approved by voters in 2002 and is responsible for informing the public about bond revenue expenditures and to actively review and report on the expenditure of bond funds.
Q: What will happen if Measure E doesn’t pass?
A: We will continue to operate with our existing facilities, and seek whatever state funding may be available. However, we will not qualify for state matching funds, which will then be allocated to other communities. It will take many years to make needed repairs and upgrades, and in the meantime deterioration will continue, and technological advances will pass us by.
Q: If some students are finding it difficult to get classes at El Camino College, why build buildings?
A: El Camino College needs to replace old, outdated buildings with high-tech labs and classrooms for science, math and career training. Additional upgrades will feature “green technology” buildings, utilizing energy- and cost-saving technologies.
Q: What are some of the academic programs available at El Camino College?
A: Each year ECC’s 25,000 students participate in 87 degree and 89 certificate programs in areas such as pre-engineering, “green” technology, math, computer science, in addition to nursing, police, firefighting and other first-responder and health care positions.